Protest planned at Rutgers-New Brunswick for $15 minimum wage

Nick Muscavage

NEW BRUNSWICK – Student groups and unions are planning a protest at Rutgers University, calling for a $15 minimum wage for university employees.

On Friday, Feb.23, student groups, a coalition of Rutgers unions and representatives from campuses across the nation will hold a rally and march at Rutgers-New Brunswick.

The action, initiated by the Rutgers chapter of United Students Against Sweatshops (USAS) and the Rutgers American Association of University Professors — American Federation of Teachers (AAUP-AFT), will call on the Rutgers administration to establish a $15 minimum wage for all campus workers and to bargain in good faith with Rutgers unions representing 20,000 workers at the university.

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The action is part of nationally coordinated days of action by working people and allies who will mobilize to support strong unions in the face of the upcoming Supreme Court case Janus v AFSCME.

The event is set to begin at 1 p.m. at Brower Commons, 145 College Ave.


“Our union has adopted a practice known as ‘Bargaining for the Common Good.’ What this means is that unions should fight not only for their members but for the well-being of all N.J. residents,” said Deepa Kumar, associate professor of Media Studies and president of Rutgers AAUP-AFT.

“Concretely, this means that we have partnered with student groups to first push for a $15 minimum wage for all campus workers and then to advocate for the same across N.J.

Kumar said that the groups also are working with unions that represent the medical schools in hopes that both win healthcare for adjunct and part-time lecturers and reduce the costs for other union members.

“Everything we propose will strengthen Rutgers as a public university and as a vehicle for the economic and political enfranchisement of all New Jerseyans,” she said.